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Streak Hits Four as Griffins Drowned By River Rats
Shorthanded Goal Haunts Grand Rapids...
By Jason Kasiorek

The formula is becoming all too familiar. Griffins outshoot opponents but still are down a goal or two. They rally back but give up a late goal and lose the game. Tonight, Miller and Langfeld scored in the loss, while Keller added two assists. The result was still the same.

Grand Rapids looked disorganized from the outset, and seemed to have a lot of trouble making two passes. Albany took it to the Griffins forcing the play and forechecking the puck away. Brad Norton, making his Griffins debut, went into the corner but couldn't stop his man from making a goal mouth pass that was roofed by Tsimikalis for a powerplay goal. Fourty-four seconds later Willis put Albany up two-zip when he snapped a screen shot from the slot that beat Howard 5-hole. The Griffins regrouped and took advantage of a late powerplay to finally get on the board. Miller one-timed a pass from Quincey, short-side, for a powerplay marker. Shots on Goal: GR 16 - Albany 6

The second was a chippy, choppy period with neither side having a clear cut advantage. Their were several scrums around both nets and along the boards during stoppages in play. The Griffins looked to have caught a break when Albany appeared to score off the rush, but the light did not go on, and play continued. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Albany 8.

Grand Rapids tied things up just over the halfway point of the third when Keller put a shot on net from the circle on the powerplay. Ellis and Langfeld were camped out on the edge of the crease jamming at the rebound until Langfeld poked it home 5-hole. The comeback was shortlived however, as Albany went ahead to stay two and a half minutes later. A turnover on a Griffins powerplay led to a River Rats rush. Aucoin snapped a high shot from the slot that fluttered into the top corner of the net, glove side. It may have hit something, but it was not a good goal for Howard. Jimmy was pulled for the extra attacker with just over a minute left, but could generate no attack. Albany had several chances at an empty net but missed on 3 or 4 beauties. Shots on goal: GR 9 - Albany 10.

Miller - Langfeld - Keller
Hussey - Ellis - Brooks
Barney - Oulahen - Kolanos
Radunske - McGrath - Langfeld/Oulahen/Norton

Syvret - Smith
#5 Norton - Ericsson
Quincey - Meech

Starter: Howard
Backup: Liv

Galvin - Injured
Himelfarb - Injured

Barney - Brooks - Kolanos
Syvret - Meech

Miller - Ellis - Langfeld
Quincey - Keller

Ellis - Hussey/Brooks
Smith - Meech

Langfeld - Oulahen
Quincey/Norton - Ericsson

Kolanos - Radunske

Three Stars:
3 Alb Weiman
2 GR Miller
1 Alb Aucoin

Danny Syvret made a nice, sneaky play when he stickhandled a discarded stick up ice with him and left it just outside the Albany zone. That stick or broken pieces of it stopped at least three Albany clearing attempts.

It was nice to see Radunske in the lineup. He has not contributed much on the scoresheet, but he has shown he is not afraid to get his nose dirty around the net and in scrums.

Brad Norton did not look good. I expected that his positioning might be bad because he was mostly used at forward in Detroit, but that was not the problem. His stickhandling and shot were terrible. Nearly evertime he handled the puck he lost it or shot it right into a River rats player who then gained control of it. He was not overly physical either. Hopefully a few days of practice will improve his play.

The boys do not seem to be gelling, and the offense is way to streaky to support the way they have been playing as of late. Bob Kaser said on the radio after the game that he has a lot of confidence in the players in the room, but I think they are missing a game breaker. Krys Kolanos has not shown signs of being that player despite putting up some quiet numbers. They are missing that front line player ala Michel Picard, Donald Maclean or Filppula.

Click here for the Official Scoresheet.